ASH Daily News for 06 April 2017



New study reveals smoking causes 1 in 10 deaths
North East: Hospital starts countdown to going smokefree
North East: Hundreds of South Tyneside children need treatment for passive smoking
Research suggests tougher regulation of e-cigarettes may affect their effectiveness as a cessation tool
Canada: Government finalises ban on menthol in most tobacco products
Jamaica: WHO to support Health Ministry with enforcing tobacco control regulations

 
New study reveals smoking causes 1 in 10 deaths

According to a new study published in the Lancet, tobacco is still responsible for 1 in 10 deaths worldwide contributing to 6.4 million deaths in 2015.

The study states that despite effective tobacco control efforts there were still 1 billion smokers worldwide in 2015 with that number expected to rise as population increased. One in every four men is a smoker and one in 20 women.

The study recognises the major gains in tobacco control that have been made, regarding the introduction of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as a clear milestone. However, the authors argue that in many countries there has been only marginal progress since the treaty came into effect, and while more men than women smoke there have actually been larger reductions in the number of men smoking while the percentage of women has remained fairly constant.

The paper focused on recording only daily smokers and senior author Dr Emmanuela Gakidou said “The toll of tobacco is likely to be much larger if we include occasional smokers and former smokers and people who use other tobacco products like smokeless tobacco. This is on the low end of how important tobacco is.”

Dr Gakidou went on to say: “There is a widespread notion that the war on tobacco has been won but I think our evidence shows that we need renewed and sustained efforts because the toll of smoking in 2015 is much larger than most people would think, so we absolutely have a lot more to do. We need new and improved strategies to do it and a lot of effort and political will.”

See also:
The Lancet: Smoking prevalence and attributable disease burden in 195 countries and territories, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015
iNews: USA one of four countries making up half of all smoking deaths
Malay Mail Online: New research reveals global smoking deaths up by 5pc since 1990

Source: Yahoo, 6th April 2017
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North East: Hospital starts countdown to going smokefree

Northumbria Health Foundation Trust has started a one year countdown to going smokefree. The Trust has pledged that all its hospitals and community sites will be smokefree from 31st March 2018, in an attempt to support more people in the region to quit smoking.

Dr Gbenga Afolabi, medical director and respiratory consultant, said: “We have a very important role in helping the region as a whole reduce the number of people who smoke and the many serious illnesses that are linked to smoking. … Over the next 12 months, we will be engaging with staff, patients and visitors to identify effective ways of supporting them to become ‘smokefree’ as we work towards making our organisation and every one of our sites smokefree.”

Ailsa Rutter, Director of regional tobacco control office Fresh North East said: “We hugely welcome work by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to look at ways they can support more smokers to quit their tobacco dependency. Smoking is our single biggest cause of preventable illness and early death and it results in nearly half a million hospital appointments every year… Smokefree hospital grounds are only one small part of a much bigger picture. Helping patients to quit is not only effective, but cost effective and can save the NHS huge amounts of money. Most smokers have tried to quit, and yet many more would manage to do so successfully with the help of the NHS.”

Source: New Post Leader, 5th April 2017
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North East: Hundreds of South Tyneside children need treatment for passive smoking

A new report has revealed that each year hundreds of children in South Tyneside are treated for the effects of passive smoking. The figures have been published as part of the Director of Public Health Annual Report 2016: A Tobacco Free Future, which states that 378 children had to be taken to their GPs or hospital with conditions, including glue ear and asthma, which had been caused by passive smoking.

The report highlights a number of measures that have been put in place to cut smoking rates and since 2012, 5,000 people have given up tobacco, which reduces the borough’s smoking level to 17.4% from 22%.

The report has been welcomed across the region with Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh North East, saying: “We hugely welcome this report and its aim for more families in South Tyneside to grow up free from the harm of smoking, which is a leading cause of early death, ill health, poverty and disability. “The North East has seen massive progress with around 1/3 fewer smokers than in 2005, and with fewer children starting. However, too many people are still smoking. Half of all smokers will die from tobacco, but often people under-estimate how much damage it is doing to their health or to other people’s health. We need to ensure communities are well informed about the risks of smoking and secondhand smoke, and have access to effective ways to stop smoking.”

Source: The Shields Gazette, 6th April 2017
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Research suggests tougher regulation of e-cigarettes may affect their effectiveness as a cessation tool

A new study has revealed that regulation of e-cigarettes may affect their effectiveness as a cessation tool. Researchers studied data from a longitudinal cohort survey carried out between 2010 and 2014 following 1,700 smokers across the US, UK, Australia and Canada.

During the survey, the level of regulation varied across the four countries, but with the former two having less stringent regulation than the latter. Through comparing respondents’ quit attempts, cessation aids and how long smoking abstinence lasted, the authors found that sustained smoking abstinence using e-cigarettes was more likely in the US and UK where there were lower levels of regulation.

In the US and the UK, 73% of quit attempts using e-cigarettes reported sustained smoking abstinence, compared to 32% in Canada and Australia.

The authors have thus urged that appropriate regulatory frameworks for e-cigarettes be established, whereby their efficacy as a smoking cessation aid can be realised for those attempting to quit tobacco use.

See also:
Nicotine & Tobacco Research: Does the Regulatory Environment for E-Cigarettes Influence the Effectiveness of E-Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation?: Longitudinal Findings From the ITC Four Country Survey

Source: Medical X Press, 5th April 2017
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Canada: Government finalises ban on menthol in most tobacco products

Health Canada has announced a final amendment to the Tobacco Act which will ban the use of menthol in cigarettes, blunt wraps and most cigars sold on the Canadian market. This will expand the flavour restrictions to 95% of Canada’s tobacco market.

This amendment builds on previous legislation which came into effect in 2009 and 2015 banning the use of certain additives including flavourings like chocolate and bubble gum in tobacco products to make them less appealing to children and young people.

Menthol flavouring has similarly been shown to make it easier for young people to take up smoking, so it is hoped this ban will reduce the appeal of smoking to Canadian youth.

Source: Fox Montana, 5th April 2017
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Jamaica: WHO to support Health Ministry with enforcing tobacco control regulations

The Jamaican Ministry of Health is to receive technical support from the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Secretariat to accelerate the programme for implementing a series of tobacco control measures.

The Health Ministry has said this support will focus on areas identified as priorities for strengthening implementation of the Convention in Jamaica. These areas include: full implementation of a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and reducing the demand for tobacco products through increasing taxation.

Source: News Dog, 5th April 2017
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